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Traditional Media Planning and Buying Still Have a Future

August 1st, 2019   ||    by Charlene Weisler

In the past, media planning and buying were simpler. It was a time of four broadcast networks with the rumblings of some emerging cable networks as competition. Broadcast sales ruled the day and negotiations were made with a lunch and a handshake. Contracts were stewarded and posted using Nielsen, and at the end of the campaign (often a full year), there was either an over-delivery for the client or a shortfall.

With the advent of automation, the use of data to form targeted segmentations and the ability to transact in real-time, the advertiser/network relationship is less personal but more efficient. However, there are lessons to be learned from the old ways of buying and selling media, and a place for traditional buying and the human touch in today’s media world.

Sales Personalization

Consumer personalization through automation, where messages are tailored to household or individual, offers relevancy and a greater call to action. But personalization in business transactions also has a place in this new advertising world. Being able to connect with a human sales expert to ask questions, research possibilities, and discuss ideas is a legacy sales hallmark that is still valuable in today’s automated sales arena.

Marketing Initiatives

As part of the legacy system of negotiations, additional sales placement opportunities for advertisers were possible, such as in-program insertions (which are increasingly computerized) or signage at an event. While automation is excellent at placing messages in advertising slots created by the sellers, it can’t always take advantage of these other, less formatted marketing opportunities that require human intervention to implement and monitor.

Brand Safety and Fraud

There is nothing worse than running a commercial for an airline during a news report on a crash, but it happens. With automation, algorithms can help to prevent such mishaps, but it is also valuable to have a sales and traffic compliance team monitoring activity. Having a human touch also reduces the risk of ad fraud.

Consumer Safety

With the high degree of personalization in automation, there is the risk of the right message for the household being received by the wrong family member, such as a pregnancy kit being served to the father of the household when it was intended for the daughter. Traditional media may not be as hyper-focused as programmatic, but it offers viewers a degree of anonymity while still targeting the household.

Soft Human Attributes

As Business Insider noted, humans remain masters in skills that AI and machine learning can only mimic, whether using common sense to solve problems, feeling and understanding emotions, or harnessing creativity. While there is much to be praised about the efficiency of automated buying, there are also advantages to retaining the human element of media planning and buying legacy protocols.

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